Wohler Takes A Ride In Dome Productions’ New Vista 4K Truck
TORONTO, AUGUST 22, 2017 — Dome Productions, one of North America’s leading production facilities providers for professional sports, has been a loyal customer of Wohler Technologies. The company has once again enlisted Wohler’s audio monitoring solutions, including its iAM-AUDIO and iAM-MIX units, for its new Vista production truck, which is designed around a complete 4K UHD HDR workflow.
Dome Productions offers mobile 4K and HD production facilities, transmission services, studio facilities and full turnkey Host Broadcast services and a fleet of 18 multi-format production mobiles including three 4K trucks, seven support units, one production/uplink mobile and three uplink tractors to clients mainly for sports and entertainment events.
“Dome has been a long-time customer of Wohler’s and has used its discreet AES and analog units, such as the VMDA-SUM8 and AMP1-E16V-MD, for monitoring in the past,” says Al Karloff, manager engineering services at Dome Productions. “With a core technology change, we decided it was time to streamline the audio monitoring throughout the Vista mobile, utilizing much more MADI. This gives each operator station more possibilities and channels to monitor, as well as streamlines the user experience. The iAM-AUDIO units are great, because they offer future-proof capabilities allowing us to add in SFP modules to support future standards, like AoIP.”
The iAM-AUDIO-1 units are located in Dome Productions’ Engineering QC station and are primarily used by the engineer in charge (EIC), giving him/her the flexibility to monitor audio from any source (MADI, AES, Analog or SDI Embedded). iAM-AUDIO-1 is a 1RU unit that has a variety of inputs and the user interface allows operators to flip between those inputs instantly. The iAM-MIX units are distributed throughout the truck, with one in the audio section, and others located throughout the production control room, replay room and in the video department. The iAM-MIX monitors custom MADI streams and setups distributed to each operator station through Dome Productions’ audio router.
“When iAM-MIX was introduced, we felt this was exactly what many of our operators have been asking for,” says Karloff. “With the iAM-MIX units having one control per audio source, it has been a big help for our operators. When they are recuing a replay, they don’t have time to punch multiple buttons or think about which input source their machine is routed to. Operators want to know instantly which control is their audio, crank it open and listen as they playback. Having a visual audio presence meter and the ability to name each source, and even to fully automate the naming function via its integration to the Evertz router, is a nice addition. Also, the updated Web GUI with its ability to display audio meters in the browser is a big feature. Being able to make a preset configuration through it, away from the front panel, is a time saver. It is also nice to be able to easily upgrade the firmware remotely as new features and fixes are implemented.”
The iAM Series uses small form-factor pluggable (SFP) slots to enable simple adaptation of interfaces and a wide selection of signal I/O. The overall variety of audio and video metering options supported includes analog, AES3 and MADI inputs, and options for Video over IP formats (MPEG2 TS, SMPTE 2022 and SMPTE 2110), AoIP formats (Dante™, Ravenna™, AES67), 3G/HD/SD-SDI as well as a growing range of additional I/O options via its SFP interface.
Features of iAM-AUDIO include a touch-panel interface that allows intuitive command and control of the unit, combined with rich data displays and Wohler’s world-renowned audio quality. The iAM-MIX unit also features a front-panel control surface for multi-channel mixing and monitoring that allows users to monitor a 64 channel MADI stream, for example, all through one device that is simple to operate and easily accessible.
“The key selling points for us when making a purchase are equipment reliability, operator functionality, price, size and weight,” says Karloff. “In a mobile truck, we are extremely limited on rack space, weight and power, so smaller is usually better. The Wohler products are nice and shallow, which works great angled in our replay desks. With the iAM-AUDIO, we barely had 1 RU of space in the Vista truck, so being able to monitor all the signals we need and still have a usable front panel interface was key. The UHD mobiles are so complicated that we need to have ease of use and reliability, which these units bring. These audio monitoring solutions are fundamentally key to each of our productions. Any sports production where we are rolling back multiple replays has benefited from the new units and we hope to make the iAM Series the standard for monitoring in future builds.”